crime

Osaka court clears nightclub owner of violating dancing regulations

27 Comments

The Osaka District Court has ruled that the former manager of an unauthorized nightclub was not guilty of violating regulations by allowing dancing on the premises.

The court heard that Masatoshi Kanemitsu, 51, did not obtain government approval to operate a nightclub that allows dancing, when he opened his club NOON, and he was arrested in 2012, TV Asahi reported.

Nightclubs in Japan are subject to a law enacted in 1948 designed to safeguard public morals by not allowing dancing after midnight or 1 a.m. at dance halls, nightclubs and pachinko parlors. It was aimed at curbing prostitution.

Police have generally ignored the law, but in the past two years, a new crackdown has begun in larger cities, brought about by some murders in clubs, fighting and complaints from neighbors about noise.

During his trial -- the first of its kind in Japan -- Kanemitsu said the law was out of touch with society and that permitting dancing at his club did not in any way corrupt the sexual morals of young people, TV Asahi reported.

His lawyers said that the regulations against "obscene dancing" violate the constitutional right to freedom of expression.

In handing down its ruling, the court conceded that the regulations of the entertainment industry were designed to foster healthy morals of Japan's youth. "However, as patrons of the nightclub were not dancing inappropriately, the club's owner is not guilty of violating the regulations aforementioned," the court said, according to TV Asahi.

Following the ruling, Kanemitsu told reporters, "I think there needs to be a serious reform of entertainment business regulations. I am hoping to be able to work toward making that happen."

© Japan Today

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27 Comments
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6 ( +8 / -2 )

Dancing regulations:

Rule 1: You put your left foot in Rule 2: You put your left foot out Rule 3: You put your left foot in Rule 4: You shake it all about

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Good luck, Kanimetsu-san! This law about dancing is one of the weirdest statutes in Japan and should be abolished. Think about it - it was written in 1948! Just about every adult who might have danced at that time is either in their grave or close to it, and we've had three generations of freely dancing young people since then. At least outside Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nightclubs in Japan are subject to a law enacted in 1948 designed to safeguard public morals by not allowing dancing after midnight or 1 a.m. at dance halls, nightclubs and pachinko parlors. It was aimed at curbing prostitution.

What kind of stupid archaic laws is this??! Wow! And what kind of stupid jcop tries to enforce it? I am really glad that the court system was smart enough acquit the owner.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Dancing is not allowed as it is "immoral", but sleazy soapland and massage places are OK?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

He probably refused to payoff the cops or the yaks. Same thing anyway.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So the Laws have not been changed since 1948??? What on earth have those 1000s of law makers been doing in the last 68 years?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It's about time someone had the courage to oppose this law. I can only hope that this hearing will lead to either someone amending the law or a massive group defying this law.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So the Laws have not been changed since 1948??? What on earth have those 1000s of law makers been doing in the last 68 years?

All you have to do is just turn on the TV and watch these politicians do what they can only do best: SLEEP, I mean, heavily meditating

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Probably tired after spending all night at a hostess bar.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nightclubs in Japan are subject to a law enacted in 1948 designed to safeguard public morals by not allowing dancing after midnight or 1 a.m. at dance halls, nightclubs and pachinko parlors. It was aimed at curbing prostitution.

So it means Casino can not operate 24 hrs a day. It's good to hear such as moral Law in these days. I hope Casino will never open in Japan.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Nightclubs in Japan are subject to a law enacted in 1948 designed to safeguard public morals by not allowing dancing after midnight or 1 a.m. at dance halls, nightclubs and pachinko parlors. It was aimed at curbing prostitution.

So it means Casino can not operate 24 hrs a day. It's good to hear such as moral Law in these days. I hope Casino will never open in Japan.

It was aimed at curbing prostitution. How many prostitutes do you see in the streets around Japan, seriously? This law is completely outdated. 1948 was a very long time ago. This is what drives me bat bleep crazy about Japan. They almost never rectify or modify many of their laws and as such, it takes ages for Japan to change with the rest of the world.

You don't want Casinos, but snack shops, soap lands and other adult mostly men night bar establishments are fine with you, but having a dance club for young people or partiers is a bad thing? These people aren't hurting anyone. And people in this country need to lighten up, you can never be loud in this society you are always bothering people. In the daytime when I play my music, the neighbors don't like it. Kids cry in the night,some people complain. You can't laugh or scream when you are watching a movie, can't play your stereo, that's too loud, can't even enjoy sex, you have to be super quiet. None of these things will kill people. What are young people supposed to do for fun? 1am is usually when the fun begins. You block people from having fun, then you will see kids doing other things to facilitate what's missing in their lives and it could lead to something illegal or even dubious. Kids need to vent. In a country where kids can only study all the time and have little time to do anything eel and once they graduated high school and go off to university and have some free time, they want to have fun, let out some steam and just when the night gets better and wilder, they have to vacate the clubs because of some stupid outdated law?? This country just never gets it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Its not the age of the law that is offensive. The age of the law has nothing to do with anything. This law was not even remotely acceptable in 1948.

The problem is that in order to curb one illegal activity, they practically banned a perfectly harmless activity. This would be akin to attempting to prevent bank robberies by focusing on the getaway cars. To ensure that getaway cars are hard to get, you make it ridiculously hard for anyone to legally get a car.

Another aspect is having the government come in and force the morals of those in power down the throats of everyone else. If there is a real tangible problem with prostitution, like an STD epidemic or rampant abuse of prostitutes or something like that, I can understand some regulations to curb prostitution. But one group foisting their version of morality on another group is out of the question. Do that and you may as well require the entire nation be only one religion as well.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Perhaps one day (hopefully soon) we can look forward to dancing on the beach rather than banning music there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Definitely someone needs to investigate the cops. So Osaka has hundreds of soaplands, and the like, and they are raiding a dancing club for immoral behaviour? Very stinky, it seems to me that the club owner simply refused to pay the yakuza protection money, and the yakuza wanted to show them that they control the police...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Zushirezi: Spot on. quite silly how the Uyoku can roll down the street with loud speakers, natsu matsuri goes on for most of the night with people boozing and doing cultural dances, but on the beach you cant have a small radio and you cant have designated places for loud musing and dancing (AKA clubs).

I worked in the club scene for quite a while and it sucks having to tell people not to dance... When people dance and listen to music... it is sort of natural to dance. The funny thing is, it is mostly the Japanese patrons who do all the dancing. Not a bad thing at all!!!! Everyone needs to let loose and have a good time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

that about sums up the J Gov as a whole, run by laws that are way outdated, and wouldnt know where to start about changing them. CHANGE! wtf thats a word that Japan doesnt like.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

bass4funkApr. 27, 2014 - 06:49AM JST

You don't want Casinos, but snack shops, soap lands and other adult mostly men night bar establishments are fine with you, but having a dance club for young people or partiers is a bad thing?

The club owner was arrested because he operated the dance club without a license.

The Osaka District Court has ruled that the former manager of an unauthorized nightclub was not guilty of violating regulations by allowing dancing on the premises. The court heard that Masatoshi Kanemitsu, 51, did not obtain government approval to operate a nightclub that allows dancing

The ruling makes it OK to operate a dance club without a license, but I doubt the ruling will be upheld upon appeal.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

1948? There were only Tango, Waltz, Two-steps defined as social dance. Archaic laws. Still used in 21st century?

@kobutachan:

So it means Casino can not operate 24 hrs a day. It's good to hear such as moral Law in these days. I hope Casino will never open in Japan.

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????? There is no Casinos in Japan. yet. And what this verdict got to do with Casinos that are gambling business???

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Osaka court clears nightclub owner of violating dancing regulations

Everybody get loose, footloose!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The dancing law is just one of many that needs to be updated.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I guess pros and johns don't use love hotels then? J-govt is worried about dance floors? Sheesh.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What kind of stupid archaic laws is this??!

You have to remember that this law was created during the post-war occupation. Japan was bending over backwards to try and present themselves in a new light after the Japanese citizenry started hearing the truth (via the War Crimes trials) about some of the atrocities committed by the IJA during the war. You had the American occupation forces directing things from on-high and the Japanese Government was given little opportunity to ever tell MacArthur, "No". If MacArthur wanted the Japanese Government to clamp down on "loose" morals, then the Japanese Government did so. This law is obviously one of the methods they chose.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@albaleo

No shaking - that could be construed as "obscene"...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I worked with licensing of night clubs a few years ago. The dancing regulation is pretty adamant and prohibits things like stages (even if meant for karaoke). Additionally light levels and visibility are checked. Many clubs temporarily furnish their place according to the rules and then alter the layout after licensing has been obtained as there usually aren't any follow-up checks.

On the other hand, especially in smaller towns, many clubs operate for years without any licensing at all and generally do not face very harsh reactions if caught.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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